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Cadillac Desert, Revised and Updated Edition

The American West and Its Disappearing Water
Narrated by: Joe Spieler, Kate Udall
Length: 27 hrs and 58 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Politics
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruptions and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecologic and economic disaster. In Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers, lured by the promise of paradise, and of the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles politicians and business interests to ensure the city's growth. He documents the bitter rivalry between two government giants, the Bureau of Reclamation and the US Army Corps of Engineers, in the competition to transform the West.

Based on more than a decade of research, Cadillac Desert is a stunning exposé and a dramatic, intriguing history of the creation of Eden - an Eden that may be only a mirage.

©2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Profile Image for Tyran Omega
  • Tyran Omega
  • 02-04-18

quintessential history of the West

this book was recommended to me Years Ago by my grandfather who lives in California. at the time I wasn't particularly interested years later I discovered this book after listening to Jared Diamonds collapse book. water as the primary subject matter of this book is incredibly important to Human Society, this particular book should be included as part of any High School American history class. though from time to time the subject matter does fieldron out and potentially over detailed it does adequately emphasize the political maneuvering corruption and subsequent growth of the American West in particular the stories of LA and how it came to acquire its water rights were very interesting from a non Californians perspective. highly recommend this book changes how you see water coming out of the tap

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Terry McIntire
  • Terry McIntire
  • 25-03-18

Required reading for anyone who consumes water

Would you consider the audio edition of Cadillac Desert, Revised and Updated Edition to be better than the print version?

The updated version is important and brings us up to date on water policy, all the way into 2018. Changes since the 1980s when 1st published and then again after being revised in the 1990s make this a book that needs to be read and pondered (or listened to) again.

What did you like best about this story?

The book discusses government and political involvement in water policy from the time of the first damming of rivers and usage of groundwater in the US. It continues to discuss the future consequences.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The book skips around a bit in time. I would like for it to be a bit more chronological

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • AES
  • 23-07-19

Too much mouth noise in narration

Each breath declares itself as if the narrator is about to submerge for an underwater breath-holding contest. The respiratory rate is way too high - every four to five words. And if that wasn’t enough: wet, smacking breath sounds. I’m sure Joe Spieler is an awesome guy, but he breathes as if he should’ve under the care of physician.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Richard
  • Richard
  • 16-07-19

Don't Come West Without It.

Having first read this life-changing book in the mid-90s, I was delighted to find it in Audible format and updated too. Anyone living west of the Mississippi River who wishes to catch a glimpse of the waterless realm we in the West are now entering should give this book full attention. The historical account of the various fumbling agencies in charge of our wildlands and watersheds is thoroughly enlightening. Water mismanagement, wanton dam building, abuse of power and climate change have been ongoing for well over a century. Thankfully, that is now changing, as described in the new Afterword section by Lawrie Mott, who brings new life and hope to a parched land overpopulated with people who have little idea of how close we are to running dry. This is one of my lifetime favorite books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Mitch B.
  • Mitch B.
  • 21-09-19

A true masterpiece that's frees you from ignorance

It's a dense book that dives deep into the water usage of the west. It is enlightening and enthralling. A must read for anyone who lives west of the Mississippi.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-08-19

so interesting, well researched, and illuminative.

highly recommend both author and narrator. I learned so much about my home region. A++

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  • T. James
  • 05-08-19

afterrward was a letdown.

the time of the afterward did not match the time of the rest of the book; way too politically charged.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-07-19

Water history in the west.

great book on how water is squander and ecosystems are destroyed in pursuit of financial gains.

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  • bkm
  • 08-06-19

Good info buried in tedium and tirade

I really wanted to like this book - it's packed with much of the interesting history and ecological information I was hoping to learn, but it was a real struggle to finish. While it generally seems well researched, the author can't resist slipping in sarcastic slights about the people in the narrative and frequent rants about govt incompetence... which is not to say there are no villains/buffoons in the history of US water politics, but the book doesn't let the facts stand on their own, and it gives the impression of a very one-sided narrative. After the umpteenth repetitive dam project example and the zillionth snide character attack I had to take a long break from this book, and after resuming it weeks later it was still a slog to finish. I'm still glad to have learned much of the history (earlier stuff especially) but I definitely won't revisit this book.

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Profile Image for Greg “Woody” Greenwood
  • Greg “Woody” Greenwood
  • 28-12-18

Stunning information and realization

My actions are forever changed relative to conservation living in the American West. Thank You Marc for your effort to put this exhaustive research together in a sensible manner for the common citizen to realize we can make a small difference in our dialing living. How do we proliferate this into the mainstream?